Chewy Granola Bars

Granola seems to be all the rage these days, particularly when it’s in bar form. There are myriad different brands flying about, each hoping for a bite at an increasingly sizeable pile of health-food dung. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it shows that people are becoming a little more conscious of their health. However, with a surge in demand comes an equivalent increase in price; a single, top-end, chewy granola bar will set one back in the region of £1. Cumulatively, that could end up being a rather high price to pay to maintain one’s health. Besides, granola bars are, as you shall soon find out, incredibly simple to make.

These granola bars were made with a very keen sense that they should be extremely healthy. Relative to shop bought granola bars they contain very little refined sugar, with most of it coming from the fruit. However, it was more important that these bars should contain as little fat as possible, let alone the abhorrent stuff found in butter. As such, a little rapeseed oil seemed as though it would make a fantastic replacement and indeed it did.

You see, rapeseed has relatively little saturated fat and is crammed full of omega-3. Indeed, even when compared to olive oil it comes up trumps – though it doesn’t quite manage to hold a candle to the taste of the latter. Anyway, this seemed to work rather well, though butter would perhaps make a slightly softer bar. The sacrifice is wholly acceptable, though don’t let me stop you adding butter if you so wish.

For something a little more naughty, please check out my recipes for Chocolate and Hazelnut FlapjacksDouble Chocolate Flapjacks & Sunflower Seed Flapjacks

Chewy Granola Bars

Makes 12-16

Ingredients:

• 200g porridge oats

• 300g dried fruit or nuts, these contained raisins, dates, apricots and almonds

• A pinch of salt

• ½ tsp ground cinnamon

• 2 tbsp ground almonds

• 100g caster or granulated sugar

• 4 tbsp golden syrup, corn syrup will do

• A dash of water

• 3-4 tbsp rapeseed oil

Method:

1. Grease a suitably sized cake tin, mine was roughly 20cm by 10cm, and heat the oven to 180C. Mix together the porridge oats, fruit, nuts, salt, cinnamon and ground almonds.

2. Melt the golden syrup and sugar over a medium heat, add a little splash of water just to bring it all together. Remove from the heat once the mixture has turned clear. Tip the molten into the dry, mix thoroughly and add enough oil to bring it all together. Press this firmly into the baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes.

3. Once golden brown remove the granola from the oven. Allow to cool completely before turning out. Cut into the desired size and enjoy with a strong coffee, or on the go.

Cost: Oats, as well you know, are a ridiculously cheap ingredient. Indeed, the only expense in this recipe is the fruit, but if you shop wisely this shouldn’t set you back too much either. In total, these granola bars can easily be made for roughly £1.90 – that’s around 7 or 8 times cheaper than anything like these could be bought for in a shop.

110 thoughts on “Chewy Granola Bars

  1. Shira

    Looking wonderful and what a brilliantly simple (and cheap) recipe! I might give this a go and post about it too as I think you’ve really nailed this one! Looks fabulous Nick! Woot!

  2. Somer

    Wow. Totally sick of buying granola bars, they are usually filled with copious amounts of sugar too, and believe it or not, most bars on the shelf in the U.S. are NOT VEGAN. I have to label read like crazy. Even the “healthy brands” have eggs or dairy in them. Weird. Totally making my own this week. Thanks!!!

  3. Cathy

    They look yummy! But tell me, do you know if there is a difference between granola bars and flapjacks? I always thought granola was an American brandname…

  4. Amrita

    Kaa from The Jungle Book! Hah…he was a piece of work.

    And your accidentally (ahem) granola bars, although not for gluttons like me, sure do look very pinteresting. See what I did there?

  5. Conor Bofin

    They look excellent. I do something similar but I use dried cranberries in the mix. I have to admit to using a lot of butter and ending up with a bar that never dries (until it gets into my arteries). However, they are very tasty and worth the extra 30 minutes on the treadmill that they earn for me.

    1. frugalfeeding

      Thanks! Yes, that sounds great. I don’t think butter would have added much to be honest. I find that using butter in absolutely everything is a little anachronistic to be honest – there are so many viable alternatives these days.

  6. egg me on

    Oh wow. So many great things about this post. The fact that Pinterest is now your mistress (I’m loving it myself). The Kaa reference. Your objection to Facebook (I’m on it, but certainly don’t love it) And yes, these “accidentally vegan” granola bars. Thanks for giving us non-vegans and sometimes fatties the okay to add a little butter, too. Great stuff, man!

  7. tanyamhudson

    These look delicious! I’ve made pretty decent granola before, but never granola bars…though I can’t fathom why, because a granola bar would satisfy my quick-and-easy-to-grab-on-a-weekday breakfast needs just as well as all those muffins I make! And these also satisfy my breakfast-must-not-be-full-of-sugar-and-fat requirements. Might have to do a “granola bars for Monday” post one day soon…. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Michelle

    Ah, the siren song of Pinterest… I’ve been using it mostly as a “to do” list, pinning recipes I intend to make one day. But also the mean girl in me likes to look at how bad are the tastes of folks I grew up with! Oh, and by the way, your granola bars look great.

  9. Sacha

    These are lovely looking granola bars — cooked to a perfect deep golden brown. I have avoided Pintrest so far (I don’t need another source of distraction). Let’s see how long that lasts…

  10. Just A Smidgen

    Love this.. I’ve got a few granola bar recipes, but always looking for a new one to try. I can’t stand the cardboard flavored variety in the stores.. So.. Yes, I will follow your Pinterest if you will follow mine, lol.. And Facebook as well, if you choose to sign up I will “Like” you:)

  11. baconbiscuit212

    Like you, I have a Pinterest account too. But I totally draw the line at Facebook. Never had an account and cannot be persuaded to get one now. Be strong, Frugal. It will go the way of MySpace judging from the growing Facebook backlash.

    btw, these look terrific by the way — as always!

    1. frugalfeeding

      I have a personal account but find it difficult to bother making a blog one. I don’t like spending time on it as it is. Thanks, Daisy. I think it;s admiraable that you don’t use facebook.

  12. Karista

    These look delicious! What a lovely recipe and they’re vegan! Great for the dairy intolerant foodies. I love bakedinpretoria’s comment… nothing should be vegan on purpose. LOL! I’m inclined to agree. Happy Cooking Frugal!

  13. Brianne

    I have been meaning to make my own granola for months. There’s just too many other things I want to make first! Lately I’ve been reading more granola bar recipes. It’s crazy how easy and simple they are to make, and you know exactly what’s going into them. Yum.

    Welcome to Pinterest. It’s my second home on the Internet.

  14. spree

    Some work so diligently at cooking vegan and you, clever Nick, happened on it by ACCIDENT! I do like the sounds of this and will give it a go, maybe using date or coconut sugar in place of white. I’ll follow you on Pinterest! Follow me back! :)

  15. Cara

    I can NOT wait for the day that the Frugs is *finally* on Facebook! And I am going to find you now on Pinterest. Look at you! You are branching out and joining us losers. First with granola bars, then with Pinterest. What’s next? Looks like you are going to have to start taking pictures of the meals you eat for an entire day. That’s the true food blogger way :)
    I’m excited about this granola bar recipe, however. My friend was asking if I knew any recipe that I trusted that was good and now I can forward this to her…

      1. christopher.

        Haha. I try. I definitely don’t eat as much meat as I used to. I guess when I really think about it, a lot of the stir fries and pastas I do are vegan, so long as I don’t add some chicken or something. Basically, for quick dinners sometimes, I just sautee some veggies in olive oil, and toss some pasta in with another little splash of oil, toss to coat, and nom.

  16. Aimee@clevermuffin

    I was very excited to see this post, partly because of my own dislike of how much granola bars cost, and secondly to see if you gave in and just used a whole lot of butter (and I’m talking upwards of 250grams) to bind them (makiing them not so healthy). Bravo to you on both fronts!

  17. jobakes

    Ooo now, these are a blast from the past – I used to make these sort of bars all the time back in my dieting days – I used maple syrup for sweetness and apple purée for added moisture. Must make some more for days when I’ve run out of cereal and need brekkie on the go!

  18. Pingback: non-muffins for Monday – 4.19.12 – granola bars « humble feast

  19. jentoo

    Not only do they sound delicious, they are delicious!
    We went tame the first round and didn’t add anything but coconut to accommodate the younger palates in the family. I used more oats instead.
    We used honey and brown sugar for sweetening. We used coconut oil for the fat though I might try butter next time for the flavor. Blacklisting butter is old school by the way. It’s rather good for you. http://www.naturalactivities.com/2012/05/only-real-butter-thank-you-very-much.html. At least, that’s what the “latest research” is showing.
    I used coconut oil to grease the pans which was a mistake. It tends to soak in instead of creating a barrier so they stuck like crazy. Next time I will line the pans with PAM or butter greased aluminum foil.
    Thanks for a great recipe! I’ve been wanting to make granola bars for a very long time.

    1. frugalfeeding

      Fantastic, Jennifer. I don’t blacklist butter, life’s too short. But considering it unhealthy definitely isn’t an anachronism. In simple terms, fat, it’s a lot worse for your health than rapeseed oil is. It may have positive effects, but it is undeniable that saturated fat is negative. I think that you should read what that research says as: ‘Butter is good for you, if eaten in moderation’.

      1. jentoo

        True. I eat everything in moderation so did not think about stating that caveat.
        There actually is some debate about saturated fats being bad for you. That’s why I said “latest research”. Scientists are always changing their minds and doing new studies when evidence starts to show that the previous study may not have been entirely accurate.
        I would tend to agree with the new thought that saturated fat is not necessarily bad and has positive benefits on cell structure and health. My parents, my siblings and I grew up on whole milk from the dairy, butter, and eating meat. We are all lean, have low blood pressure and no cholesterol problems. Of course we are all moderates too and try to eat a balanced diet including whole grains, nuts, veggies, and fruits.
        So, who knows…
        Thanks for a great blog.

        1. frugalfeeding

          The problem with research like this is that there’s always ‘latest research’ that isn’t fully tested or proven. I tend to think that it doesn’t matter, moderation is key, which is something you seem to adhere to. Rapeseed is undeniably better for you, even from the point of view that it doesn’t have as much fat in it. That’s why I used it. Thanks, Jennifer.

  20. mamagwen

    These granola bars are amazing! I made them the other day and we just couldn’t stop eating them. As we say in our house, they were very ‘morish’, i.e. if you ate some, we couldn’t stop there, we had to eat more and more of it :)
    Thank you so much for the recipe, I’m off to make some more!

  21. Pingback: Chocolate and Hazelnut Flapjacks « FrugalFeeding

  22. Charlie

    Good Morning Nick!

    These sound so good! (would love pics though)

    Thank you that there are no coconut or dates!

    You have made my day.

    Also I do have to say that I love your sense of humour.

    I’m Canadian with British Roots and I definitely lean heavily to my British side.

    Keep the recipes coming.

    Have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

  23. Charlie

    Nadejda:

    You could use regular corn syrup, or even make your own, But there really is no substitute for Lyle’s golden syrup.

    IMO it is the best on the market.

    You could maybe order it online. I hope you find it.

    Have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

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